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Open Educational Resources: OER Commons

The OER Commons stands for Open Educational Resource Commons. It is a database of learning and teaching resources for preschool through adult educational levels.  The opening page is very friendly. The user will choose a subject area, educational level, and standard type.  One can simply just search for key words or add the key words to their menu choices for a more narrowed search.

OER home page

Before I describe the hits I received when I clicked search, I wanted to point out a few features on the home page.  Registering for the OEC Commons is free and requires only your name and email.  In the top right hand corner you will notice there is a tab called learner options which allows you to make changes to the way the information is presented on each page.

Asthetic Look to the OER Commons

Users can change the text and display, layout and navigation, and links and buttons.  For example, if I chose the layout and navigation tab, I can chose to have the table of contents presented at the top of each page.  I like that the OER leaves it up to the user to costumize the site for their own use.

Since this is a open resource site, the OER Commons allows for users to create their own content to upload to the site.  See the Create link. Using Open Author, educators can create courses and assignments individually or collaboratively.

The Connect link allows educators to join supportive groups related to your topic of interest so that sharing and collaborating happen with like minded individuals.  Below you will see the options you have for creating and sharing in the OER Commons. I especially appreciate the visuals the accompany each option because they summarize the purpose of each tool.

Sharing on OER

Once I was ready to search the resources available for the content “periodic table,” I chose the middle school level, physical science subject matter, and the NGSS from the drop down menus.  I was given 6 lessons which survived under my filters.  The website allows me to read the lesson plans provided, save them use later, and rate them after the lesson was tried.

This is a lesson that interests me because it address the use of engineering skills tied to my content standard.  Look at the way the OER Commons organizes the information. I like the snap shot view from the author. This allows for the user to quickly assess whether the lesson fits the needs of the educator. The lesson is described in the abstract.  The standard is listed on the left.

Lesson in the OER Commons website

This site more than met my expectations.  It was easy to use and well organized. Nothing seemed hidden or difficult to access.

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~ by dm on March 6, 2016.

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